2008-09 Basketball Game Preview: Elon

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After going a disappointing 1-2 in Puerto Rico, the Hokies will look to get
back in the win column as they return to Cassell Coliseum. Virginia Tech will
take on Elon on Wednesday night at 7pm in a game they should win, and then they’ll
look forward to hosting Wisconsin next Monday.

Elon is 1-2 on the season, with two blowout losses to the only Division I
teams they have faced. They lost 92-47 at West Virginia in their first game, and
most recently fell to Tennessee-Martin 82-65. Their lone win came against
Southern Virginia by a score of 83-55.

Elon Starting Lineup
Position Name Height Weight Year PPG RPG Assists
G Chris Long 6-2 185 So. 7 2.7 20
G Devan Carter 6-0 175 Jr. 3.7 0.7 6
G Brett James 6-5 185 Sr. 15.3 5.3 5
F Ola Atoyebi 6-8 220 Sr. 10.7 5.3 1
F Adam Constantine 6-8 225 Jr. 8 6 1

As you can see, they are a typical small conference team, starting three
guards with no true center on the inside. They are a solid perimeter shooting
team, hitting 21-of-51 (41.2%) from three-point range on the season.

Elon has a true point guard in sophomore Chris Long. Long can distribute the
ball. In three games this year, he has 20 assists and just six turnovers. So far
he hasn’t been much of a scorer, however. He has taken 30 shots this year,
second most on the team, but has hit just eight of them for 26.7%.

Elon’s top scorer so far is wing guard Brett James, who is averaging 15.3
points per game. James is from Mills E. Godwin High School in Richmond, VA. He
is one of four Virginia natives on Elon’s roster. The other starter from
Virginia is junior guard Devan Carter.

Elon is getting solid production from their frontcourt this far. Adam
Constantine and Ola Atoyebi are good on the glass, and Atoyebi is averaging 10.7
points per game.

Elon is fairly deep, with only one starter (Long) averaging more than 30
minutes per game. Nine players see at least 11 minutes per game. Off the bench,
keep your eye on freshman wing Drew Spradlin. Spradlin is a three-point
specialist who averages nine points per game. He is 8-of-14 (57.1%) from the
outside this year. He shot over 40% from three-point range in high school.

This is a team that Virginia Tech should be able to handle with relative
ease. The Hokies have their issues, but their overall talent advantage should be
able to knock off the Phoenix.

The biggest mismatch is Jeff Allen on the inside. Allen is averaging a
double-double. He leads the Hokes in scoring (17.8 points) and rebounding (10.8
rebounds). Small conference teams such as Elon generally don’t have the horses
on the inside to matchup with a player like Allen.

Look to see if anyone besides Tech’s big three (Allen, Vassallo and Delaney)
step up in this game. So far, Cheick Diakite is Tech’s fourth leading scorer,
averaging 4.8 points per game. That’s not going to get it done over the course
of the season. The Hokies need their roleplayers to step up as we get closer to
ACC play.

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